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Ryder Cup: Tiger Woods' return to form excites Furyk

Ryder Cup: Tiger Woods' return to form excites Furyk

Hot on his trail, are Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Thomas Pieters - however, there's still a lot of golf to be played!

Furyk already knows what he has in Koepka, who has won three of the past six major championships he has played and gained valuable experience at the last Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. This is the second straight major where Tiger generated fan interest by being in the mix on Sunday.

"It's been a big boost to having maybe the best player who ever lived following your group and being there for support". "Any birdie he made everyone went nuts".

But Koepka, who heard the crowd cheering for Woods further down the course, was not to be denied. Whereas he'd faltered down the stretch earlier this season at such places as Bay Hill and Carnoustie, he kept charging on a course that was giving up birdies, making four over his final seven holes. His tee shot on the par-3 third hole almost hit the hole and bounced just a few feet away. Woods slammed the head of his driver to the ground, then swung it violently in frustration.

Until Sunday at Bellerive Country Club, there had been one glaring hole in the argument that Tiger Woods was "back". This one stayed out, and Woods bent down and dropped his hands to his knees in agony.

He closed with a 20-foot birdie putt and walked off to cheers.

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Back in the day, that fist pump on the 18th green would've been to celebrate a win.

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"I still think you want to be able to weave the four captain's picks into the framework of the eight that we have, but you could pick two guys who paired very well as captain's picks as well", Furyk said.

"It was a struggle until I found a little bit of something on the back nine", Woods said.

That Woods was still in contention after his first nine holes Sunday was a testament to the sort of resilience he can show, not only over the long haul, but over the ups-and-downs of a pressure-packed round. Because no one's ever had a fused spine hitting it like I'm hitting it. And yet, he scrambled.

We've got a couple of events to look forward to this week. Captain Jim Furyk still has four players to add to his team, and it would be shocking if Woods wasn't chosen.

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He, too, was a catalyst in changing the culture of the U.S. Ryder Cup process, helping to initiate that "task force" that has shaped the cultivation of captains.

Two majors for Koepka in the same year, with Patrick Reed taking the Masters, while Francesco Molinari became the first Italian major victor with victory at the Open last month. He continues to surge in the rankings, however, climbing 24 spots to No.26.

He'll be 43 next year and the chances are running out fast but he was noticeably lifted by the huge crowds at Bellerive and each time the juices have flown again he's handled the adrenalin better.

"I didn't drive the ball well all day", he said.

I watch a lot of golf and I'm often confined to my office to do so but occasionally I don't want to sit on my own for hours on end so I'm quite used to slapping the headphones on to watch on my laptop or pad in the living room with everyone else.

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But just as the party neared frenzy mode, Woods's charge tapered with a string of 10 consecutive pars. It's soft, it's plugging, we're able to hold 4-irons, 5-irons, whatever we want, at the flags.